Why should some bother to crawl up from the bottom of the barrel?

[Standard disclaimer: I started to put this in GD, but that place makes me act all girlified and beg for the light left on. So, I opted out. I wouldn’t mind having it moved to the Pit if anyone feels the need to vent or whatever, but I mainly wanted to kvetch and therefore MPSIMS seemed to be the place for my uninteresting rambling. You’ve been warned.]

Ok. Very briefly for those who don’t know /give a shit / or have been with Elvis in another building, this is my background without PDA format…

[li]Nervous breakdown[/li][li]Severe depression, bi-polar, OCD, FBI (or maybe that was just the paranoia)[/li][li]Bankruptcy[/li][li]Agoraphobia for almost a decade[/li][li]Dissolution of marriage[/li][li]Loss of religion, friends, career, hobbies, self-esteem and future plans[/li][/ul]

That doesn’t include all the myriad dumb ass things I’ve done while fighting my demons (Bob says “hi” mom!), like having an affair with a married man, multiple suicide attempts and the requisite partridge in a pair tree. See, I wasn’t merely scraping. I was living four floors under and to the left.

But with all that said, after all this time, I’ve now finally (for about the past year and a half) found medications that I’m not resistant too. A job I can actually do, like and function reliably on. A dip back into social waters. Mostly though, I’m proud that I’m back on my own, paying my own way, with my own little tiny place and some sort of idea about what I may want. It’s been hard as hell, but for once, I’ve got the balance right not to give up, thank Og and I’m not gonna. No matter what loops are thrown my way (why just this week, it’s been my car and a, um, overzealous co-worker), I’ll beat and stay as upbeat as I can without resorting to killing a bottle of Smirnoff every night. Plus, I’m really truly amazed that I’m happy.

Therefore, I’ll give myself the necessary ::: pats ::: on the back, warm fuzzies and light brigade protection. You go girl! Blah, blah, etc., yadda.

I didn’t want to write this about me though. Just some history to say where I’m coming from before I start my lament.

What is it that I’m bitching about then?, questions you.

Well, thanks for asking, says I, and here we go.

Lately, going over the misery that’s been my life and everyone’s around me for so long, then adding to that all the extra shit which appears to follow me around even now (eh, to get in a couple good last kicks or to pad the ol’ resume, I assume), I find myself seriously lapsing into depression. Because I’ve had lots of help (my eventually-will-be-ex husband) and support. I have been able to do certain things once I’m stable. I’ve been given outlets to keep me holding on to any shreds of sanity that I had left at the time. I’m relatively healthy physically. And I hope I’m not quite as dumb as the Pit thread I spawned led me to believe (albeit completely justified – yes, if you looked up my user name in the Dope dictionary, you’d find Total Fucking Idiot listed beside it). I’m sure there are other salient points I could mention on my/luck’s behalf, but this’ll be sufficient for my purposes.

Well then, how do others do it?? You know the ones. They’re homeless, have no one to turn to, are sick/addicted to ________/handicapped/can’t speak the language/have no skills or thus required intelligence to gain any. Perhaps there are too many children too care for or some other equally draining problems.

What do they do? And when they try without any safety net at all in place, how do they keep on going back out there into this hell hole, only to be kicked again? I mean, I have all the things I described above and I often feel like I won’t be able to keep my head above water. Suicidal ideation is forever now my first thought when adversity arises. Oh, I ignore it as nothing more than a habit, but it’s disconcerting none-the-less that it might be there until I die. I mean naturally, of course.

If that’s how it is for me, what about them? If they can’t hold down a steady job because of no permanent address or reliable transportation. If they have an even more so debilitating mental illness. If they’ve been abused (sexually, mentally, physically, whatever) and they can’t afford counseling and Oprah isn’t giving any decent advice. If that is the struggle they will never see the end of, why bother? I suppose it’s here where I can understanding someone spending their last couple of bucks for what would be frivolous expenses… lotto tickets or a pint of whiskey or a movie ticket. 'Cause otherwise, the vortex is just a giant, screaming, eternal darkness. They can’t honestly improve their, say, disease or do anything but give the children up to folks who can provide.

I just so don’t understand. When I was normal, I did put in some volunteer time to give back to those less fortunate. I’m thankful that I did and hope to do so again in the future. But is that the best I can come up with? I want to do more.

Or from their perspective, is it undeniably not worth it? I would have said that before these 10-year-long-in-the-making drugs saved my stupid life. I don’t know for sure now it’s beneficial to the hassle it puts the world through. I can’t ever fathom how to actually be of service to anyone who has it much, much worse than me. I still occasionally want to give up. My heart shatters when I wonder about them.

What say y’all?

[Thanks for sticking with me until I got all this out. Hopefully, it’ll make the night a little better to hear from those out in cyber space who wanna offer insight. I promise to listen and plump your flight pillow. Please come again and bring pie. :cool: ]

If you still have enough of a mind to know the difference, you do what you can to get by, and look for a way to get out of trouble. I was homeless for a short time when my job went sour, but I wasn’t lost in a fog of drugs or alcohol, so I found my way out fairly quickly by doing day labor.

Some of the street people are there by choice- a choice of whether to buy more crack or eat. Others are just scamming because they are lazy, and it’s easy to look decrepit and bum money from people at intersections. The worst are mentally deficient in some way; the ones on the street are usually left with no caretaker or family.

That’s where the compassion of fellow people comes in- but you often can’t tell which is which and end up helping the scammers inadvertently. But that’s the price of helping out- if you give expecting thanks, you will often be disappointed, but if you give expecting nothing thereof, you have made your own reward and anything else is gravy.

What I’m trying to say is that if enough people would reach out to their fellow man, we wouldn’t have some of the problems we are currently suffering.

I crawled up from the bottom of the barrel because if I continued to stay there, I would have gone insane. I come from an abusive home and a redneck town, and over the years, people have stolen everything I owned, multiple times, and physically beat me for being different. I spent about a decade homeless, and several more years trapped in the hostel/welfare system. I reached a point beyond which I was unwilling to go. I had to leave my country to do it. But the opportunity came up, and I grabbed onto it for all I was worth. Now I live as normal a life as one could hope to have. My talents are now something that people pay me for, rather than beat me up. I’ve been all the way to the bottom. I’m never going back.

I don’t have any idea what happened to anybody I used to know from those days. I hope some of them made it out. Some of those people used to have a life. The system takes it away from you, and you have to do something to reclaim it, or you stay on the bottom. Fortunately, I had the good sense to know a good thing when I saw it. I’m all right now. But I have seen things I hope none of you ever have to see. They make me who I am. I must persevere, because I know what the alternative is. There is no way I’m going to go through any of that, ever again.

faithfool if you possessed the courage to get this far, then you possess the courage to go further upwards.
nolite bastardes carbarundorum
You must bother because the bastards must be proven to be Wrong! :cool:

spoken from near the bottom of the barrel

Because there will be one moment that makes it all worth it. The one moment is different for everyone, obviously, but if you keep trying, there will be the moment that you sit and smile and say, “I couldn’t have done this a day / month / year ago. But now I can.”

still hoping to find that moment